Thursday, June 25, 2009

Life is short.

I was back near my hometown last night. I don't get over there very often and figured I'd swing by the local cemetery to grab a couple pics. My cousin's headstone is in the cemetery I went to.

Ben died sixteen years ago in a car accident at the age of 18. From what I remember (I was 14 years old), the accident happened the week before his high school graduation. His girlfriend was driving them home from school and I believe they were following friends. They were driving on a curvy road and Ben's girlfriend lost control of the car and they went into a corn field. Ben's girlfriend was wearing a seat belt. He wasn't.

There are many images from that accident and the week after that I will never forget. There is one that I will mention here. The local news was doing a story on the accident and one of the pictures they took was of the corn field and school books were scattered around. It was just so sad.

Ben's brother accepted his high school diploma on his behalf. I can't imagine what that must have felt like for him. He was closer to my age. Now that I think about it, he must have relived that moment when he accepted his own diploma years later.

When my cousin was buried, they had one of his senior pictures engraved on the front. I've shared pictures of his headstone and others below.

Please remember to buckle up when you drive. It could be the difference between life and death.

A random headstone pic. I loved the effect at the top of it.

Another random pic.

My cousin's head stone with one of his senior pics etched in.

The poem etched into the back of my cousin's head stone.


Diane said...

i love that your family had a very nice memorial made for your cousin. thanks for sharing your story. it's not a good feeling when young people die, especially if it might have been prevented.

your second shot is really good. i like that the tree is in forefront of the picture.

cindy said...

this is so very sad. i'm sorry to hear about your loss...

Dracenea said...

Diane - I think the hardest thing for his mother was that the girlfriend, who was driving, just had a broken arm. She knew that the outcome could have been different.

Thanks for liking that second shot! I didn't really like the tree in the way but all the other angles I took didn't look quite right so the tree stayed. :)

Cindy - Thank you for your condolences.

The Frog Queen said...

Lovely pictures. I agree the dark rain/moss discoloring is interesting.

Thank you for sharing your story. I have had friends that have lost children and it is devastating. There is nothing you can say to them...nothing. But be there.

The way that you told the story from your perspective looking back was touching and thought provoking. Thank you so much.


Riverwolf, said...

Wow, what a beautiful marker for your cousin. And an important message that we all need to do what we can to care for ourselves and our loved ones.

Dracenea said...

Frog Queen - Yeah, I wasn't quite sure what gave that headstone the dark coloring. Can't say I've seen many headstones like that. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. :)

Riverwolf - It's very important to be there in the moment with people because you never know what will happen. Here's to caring for eachother!

Bud Weiser, WTIT said...

I'll have a good thought for your cousin. How tragic...

PumpkinBrain said...

This is a sad story. A story must of us have lived a way or another. Each time someone share that kind of story, it makes me remember that loved ones around us are just passing by. This is why it is important to show them we care and take the time to be with them while we can.

The poem into the back of the headstone is touching.

Thanks for sharing!

Dracenea said...

Bud - Thanks for stopping by today. It's not even Sunday Stealing time! :)

PumpkinBrain - So true. Some days feel like they're dragging by but in reality time is speeding past us.

Rita said...

What a beautiful epitaph for your cousin. I wish I could read it all.
My love and prayers for you and your family. And God bless Ben xxx Rita

Dracenea said...

Rita - Thank you for stopping by!